last01standing: ([LOM] Sam Tyler)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: Never Seen the Sunrise
Rating: R (language, violence)
Disclaimer: I can claim none of the Star Trek franchises.
Summary: Dystopian!AU. The Vulcans say the only way to peace is through removal of emotion. Not everyone agrees.
Notes: Written as part of Sweet Charity for Demona. Many thanks to [ profile] tigriswolf for the wonderful beta.

Never Seen the Sunrise
A sweet charity fic for Demona

Sem happens after the Third World War as a group who call themselves the Vulcans take control of the politics of the Earth. Logic is the answer, the Vulcans say. With logic, there will be no more wars.

But the philosophy doesn’t work. Not on its own. Humans are illogical, flawed beings.

So Vulcans say, Emotion is the enemy. We can take it away.

So they introduce Sem—the miracle drug that removes the emotional palette and leaves nothing but cold hard logic. No passion, no love.


The world is gradually remade.

It’s better like this, the Vulcans say.

Not everyone agrees.


“Why are we talking about this?” Uhura is pissed but Uhura is always pissed. In fact, Kirk strongly suspects that the sacred God-given right to get pissed at Kirk is the reason she joined the resistance.

“We’re talking about it because I want to know. Come on Uhura. Fucking? What do you think they call it? Is it ‘the demeaning act necessary for propagation of the species?’ I know it’s not ‘making love.’ But it could be something unexpected like I don’t know the T’Bang.”

“Kirk...” Uhura warns.

“How do you figure it works for them anyway?” Kirk says. “Guy Vulcan goes up to girl Vulcan and says we should make coitus for the creation of baby Vulcans.”

Bones whacks him in the back of the head as he enters the room. Kirk absorbs the blow with practiced ease. “They call it fornicating, Jim. Believe it or not, it’s a medical procedure. We had a room for it and everything. Bunch of backwards drugged up hobgoblins. Never did like that even when they had me popping the Sem.”

“You never like anything,” Kirk teases.

“And you never think about anything but fornicating.”

“No,” Kirk says. “I don’t do fornicating. I do fucking.” His gaze swivels onto Uhura, the corners of his mouth quirking upward. “What do you say, Uhura? You and me, let’s do some fucking.”

“Oh God, man,” Bones moans. “I’m sitting right here.”

Kirk shrugs. “You’re invited.”

Bones turns vaguely purple. Uhura says, “Not on your life.”

It’s the last happy memory any of them have for a month.


There is logic to pain. It is a motivator. It breaks people down to their most honest self. It is something that can be appreciated with or without Sem. It is the universal equalizer.

Torture is eminently logical.

He derives no pleasure from his task but he understands that much.

Rehabilitation would not be logical. If the traitor had abandoned Sem once in the past, statistically speaking they were 87% likely to do so again. No, they would talk without rehabilitation. Pain is a great motivator.

The traitor is an oddity in itself. There are so few people free of the Sem’s secondary effects. The ears are curiously round, the eyes foggy with pain.

The blood is a deep, pure shade of red.

It is fascinating.

“I derive no pleasure from this particular task,” he tells the traitor. “Sooner or later everyone talks.”

The traitor coughs, spraying his face with a fine mist of red blood and says, “Fuck you.”


Kirk’s a little surprised it takes as long as it does to blow up in their faces. As Bones would put it, there’s a sort of demented genius to putting their hide-out directly under their enemy’s base of operations but there’s also fifteen of them and they make some noise.

He kills a handful of them with a shard of glass to the back of the neck. It takes him a while to remember how to breathe.

He is James T. Kirk, leader of the crumbling resistance and he is not going down without a fight.

He finds Bones again three days later and gets the damage report. There’d been fifteen in their number. Five killed outright. Four missing. Scotty, Sulu and Chekov had made it to one of the smaller safe havens.

Bones saves the bad news for last. “They caught Uhura.”

“Fuck,” Kirk hisses.

Bones offers him a hand and hauls him to his feet. Then he presses a thin paperback book into his hands. The Little Prince in its original French. Uhura’s favorite. One of the reason she swore she could never go back to the Vulcans and Sem.

A reminder of how to feel things.

“She knows us both like the back of her hand,” Bones says. “I don’t think they’re going to take a risk with full rehabilitation but I’m willing to bet they have ways to make her think giving us up is logical. We’ve got to get out of the city. Sulu says he knows someone who can get us passage to the border.”

“No way to make sure it’s safe,” Kirk says. “Uhura set up half of Sulu’s contacts, we have to consider them all compromised. We are so screwed.” He stops suddenly. “I have a really bad idea.”

“Oh God,” Bones says. “I don’t think I can hear this right now.”

Kirk licks his lips. “We need to break her out.”

“You’re crazy, man. There’s no getting in and out of headquarters. The underground was one thing but they take one look at your ears and they’re going to know you’re not on the Sem.”

“So we corrupt a Vulcan.”


“I do not understand why you persist in this futile resistance.”

It is a miracle that Kirk can still speak coherently through this kind of pain. Spock appreciates the resilience, even admires it in a detached way.

“I’m not going to give up my friends.”

“You will talk. It is a foregone conclusion.”

“There’s no such thing as foregone conclusions. But even if there are, they’re going to be long gone by now.”

“One of the most fascinating things I have found about humans, Mr. Kirk, is that they are reluctant to leave one of their one behind.” He examines the blade for a long second and then slots it into the traitor’s side, a blow precisely aimed to damage nothing irrevocably while causing the maximum amount of pain. “You refused to leave your friend behind and that is the reason you’re now in our care.”

He twists the knife.

Kirk screams.

Everyone has a reason for dropping the Sem. The way Bones tells it, he’d felt that as a medical man, he should know the side effects of Sem withdrawal first hand. Scotty had genuinely just forgot. Sulu and Chekov had shown up together with a story about a disruption of the Sem flow three cities over.

Uhura... well technically Kirk kind of kidnapped Uhura. She’d spent three days silent in their manufactured holding cells while Bones yelled at him for being an idiot. Then, on the fourth day, she’d ripped him a new one her own and Kirk knew she would be staying.


At seventeen days, James Kirk is officially the most stubborn subject he has ever had.

The count so far is 32 broken bones, countless lacerations and approximated 34.4% of the skin covered in bruises. He is to the point where it is unnecessary to make any new incisions. Simple pressure is enough to send him twitching in agony.

He has started talking though. Had never really stopped. It happens enough so Spock recognizes a pattern. Has to think there’s some sort of objective in talking to the person torturing you.

“I expect you regret the initial decision now. It was not logical to remove Sem from your system.”

Kirk spits red blood on the ground. He is not bound. At this point escape is an impossibility. “I wasn’t taken off the Sem by choice.”

“There is an automotive set-up that injects the Sem. It is impossible to miss an interval except by choice.”

“I was allergic,” Kirk says, his voice surprisingly light considering what Spock judges to be his level of pain. “Bioaccumulation and by the time I was twelve years old another year on the stuff would have killed me. Heard the doctors talking about disposal methods and I decided to take my chances with rebellion.”

“There are no Sem allergies.”

“I’m a special snowflake. Only logical to obliterate me.”

“I regret that you were placed in that situation.”

“I don’t.”

When he smiles, Spock counts the missing teeth.


When Bones finds him the first time, he’s fifteen years old and has been living in filth for the past three years. He’s dirty and feral and barely remembers the English language. Bones is twenty-five years old, a conscious, knowing deserter.

He takes in Kirk’s dirty clothes, wild eyes and the rounded ears. The first thing he says is, “You’ve been under the government center? Really?”

Kirk stares at him, licks his lips and says, “You’re not Vulcan?”

It’s been years since he saw anyone not Vulcan.

“Trust me kid, I’ve got no affinity for those pointy-eared hobgoblins.” He reaches a hand down and hauls Kirk up off the ground. “You smell like shit and vomit.”

It is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Or you know, an underground revolutionary movement with the intent of overthrowing the government.


Twenty three days.

Spock refractures Jim’s left pinky, a quick precise movement that makes a tiny pop that sounds insignificant after Jim’s screams.

He realizes dimly that he has taken to thinking of the prisoner with his given name. Not the Traitor or Kirk but Jim. The change alarms him but he cannot discern the reason why.

He also does not want to decode the reason for alarm. Alarm leads to paranoia leads to anxiety leads to fear. Jim’s blood has cooled on the floor in a stick red paste. There is a blood vessel that has burst in his left eye leaving the blue iris staring out from a ruby red sea.

Jim’s eyes are a startling shade of blue.

“I find you most puzzling.”

Something rattles in Jim’s mouth. A tooth. No other option makes sense at this juncture. It cannot be comfortable against all of the exposed nerves but he doesn’t spit it out, desperate somehow to keep that part of himself. “You ever been off Sem?”

“I do not see how this is relevant to our discussion.”

Jim uses his tongue to swing the tooth from the left side of his mouth to the right. There’s a thin film of blood on his lips. “It really logical to consider this some sort of discussion?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

“Precision in language.” Kirk coughs, the tooth rattling against his front teeth. “Thought you Vulcans were big on words. Why are you on the Sem?”

“It is protocol to...”

“Don’t give me this ‘protocol, it’s always been here’ bullshit. Why are you on the Sem?”

“Because it is custom.”

“So you take an external drug because you always have? How does that make sense?”

Spock wants to recite the treatise of his upbringing, how the wars forced the necessity of logic onto the world, but staring at Jim as he listens to the tooth rattle around in his mouth, he can’t remember a word.


The loudest parts of the day are during the shift changes in the government center above them. Thousands of pairs of feet trampling in their standard issue steel toed boots and for three twenty minute periods a day, they don’t have to be quiet.

So they aren’t quiet. Kirk procures an old record player an some speakers and they end up blasting the 1812 Overture, screaming, ‘fuck yeah’ to the cannon blasts in the finale. They’re noisy and rambunctious and celebrating the adrenaline, the joy and the pure rush of feeling that comes with it.


“You’re out of Sem,” Jim tells him, looking at the small canister attached to his elbow. “Aren’t you going to refill it?”

Spock looks it a slowly, looks back to Jim. Some of the bruises on his faces have faded to a dull greenish color. It had been seventy seven hours since the last time Spock touched him. Seventy since he’d realized he made a choice.

It will be difficult to move him. Even more difficult to remove him from the building.

It has been a full month since Jim Kirk came under his care and his superiors have begun to question him. Spock estimates he will be removed from this particular post and dealt with in three days. At this juncture, self preservation is incredibly logical.

But that’s not why he’s made his decision.

“No,” he says looking toward the empty canister. He pulls it off, lets it drop to the floor and crushes it with the toe of his boot. “No, I don’t believe I am.”

Jim’s eyes are foggy but he smiles.


Kirk’s pretty sure Uhura would have punched him if it wasn’t for his condition. Bones has a sour look at his face. Spock sets him down gently on the hideout’s only flat surface. “I expect he will need medical assistance though he is not in immediate danger of death.”

“Bones,” Kirk mumbles. “Bones, I did it. I corrupted a Vulcan.”

Bones moves towards him and very gently takes hold of his hand. “Jim, you’re the only one I know who makes friends by letting them beat on you.”

“Missed you, Bones,” Kirk says, his eyes fluttering shut.

“I should leave,” Spock announces, turning around.

Uhura moves to block his path before Bones even gives the order to stop him. “Lockdown,” Bones says. “He’s in lockdown until Jim’s on his feet.”


Spock is under manned guard when the sun comes up. It’s a skinny little Russian kid with a machine gun that looks bigger than he is but Spock is not watching his guard.

He is looking at the sky, and the sunrise as the soft peach closer inches its way across the horizon. Something wells in his chest, an overwhelm thing he refuses to acknowledge until it starts spilling out through his eyes.

The sunrise is so beautiful he cries.


(no subject)

26/5/10 15:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Oh, wow. That's beautifully realized and they're wonderfully themselves in this very different world.

Bones moves towards him and very gently takes hold of his hand. “Jim, you’re the only one I know who makes friends by letting them beat on you.”

Oh, so true. :)

(no subject)

2/6/10 20:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Happy to hear it worked for you! Thanks for reading.

(no subject)

26/5/10 21:16 (UTC)
ext_367923: (Zach)
Posted by [identity profile]
Fantastic story. Heartbreaking and sad, but with a ray of hope.

Perfect characterizations and voices.


(no subject)

2/6/10 20:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you for the kind words.

(no subject)

26/5/10 22:07 (UTC)
jane_potter: (if i wanted to worship you)
Posted by [personal profile] jane_potter

Every fluff and easy-reading bone in my body wants me to say I wailed all the way through, but the truth is that I was horribly, wonderfully engrossed by this sense of sick fascination that just hooked me in and kept me there with my nose was being pressed into all the grime and pain, and liking it.

I suppose this means my single dystopian-love bone must be the size of Texas. XD

(no subject)

2/6/10 20:49 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Hey, everyone loves a good dystopia. =) Glad to hear you braved the angst.

(no subject)

27/5/10 04:37 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Stories like this are why I *love* fanfiction - this was simple, beautiful and very well done.

(no subject)

2/6/10 20:49 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much!

(no subject)

27/5/10 11:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
What an interesting AU! Really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing!

(no subject)

2/6/10 20:49 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Glad you liked it!
ext_24303: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile]
Oh, wow. This was amazing, and managed to feel like a much bigger fic than it actually is. Your worldbuilding is exquisite.

(no subject)

30/5/10 23:53 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I honestly couldn't have asked for a more freaking awesome Sweet Charity fic. Wow. This...This was just perfect. I loved the interactions. I loved the elements of humor tossed in to make the whole horrid mess (Sem and the Vulcans) easier to swallow.

The most startling part of this idea is that it could happen. The world could one day decide that something like this needs to happen. And that thought is terrifying.

Thank you for writing such a delightfully awesome fic!

(no subject)

2/6/10 20:52 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Oh, I'm SO GLAD to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks again for bidding on me! I always have so much fun with Sweet Charity.

If you like stuff like this, you really ought to check out the movie Equilibrium. It's pretty epic and you'd probably really enjoy it. =)

(no subject)

2/4/11 11:15 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Very cool worldbuilding. I loved the development between Kirk and Spock and the self-contained short-story feel this has. Thank you for sharing. :D

(no subject)

10/4/11 04:27 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much!

(no subject)

16/4/11 05:25 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]


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July 2015

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